March 12. An undiagnosed disorder is at large in the world, says Robert Fuller, Ph.D, and leads to racism, sexism, bullying and all forms of tyranny. At its root is abuse of the weak by the strong. Fuller calls it ‘rankism.’
“It is the cause of dysfunction, and sometimes even violence, in families, schools, and the workplace,” Fuller says. “It afflicts individuals, groups, and nations.”
Fuller, the past president of Oberlin College, has explored the concept in “Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank” and “All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity,” and through essays, interviews and lectures.
On March 12, he comes to Sonoma’s Vintage House to talk on “Dignity for All: How to Deal with Bullying, Racism, Sexism, and Rankism.”
“Putting people down and keeping them there is the mother of all the ignoble isms,” Fuller says. “Once you have a name for it, you see rankism at the heart of many infringements of human rights, far away or close to home.”
The topic is particularly timely; Fuller calls Donald Trump “the poster boy” for rankism. “By giving rankism a face — his own scowling, mocking face — President Trump has unmasked it.”
In “Dignity for All: How to Create a World Without Rankism,” Fuller, the co-author, lays out the precepts of the Dignity Movement, a guide to fighting and ending rankism. “Identifying rankism in all its guises and overcoming it is democracy’s next step.
The 2 p.m. event is presented by the Praxis Peace Institute. $20 for adults, $10 for youth 18 years and younger. 264 First St. East, Sonoma. Praxispeace.org.